Above: Martingale Collars from Up Country, Inc.
As we start stocking martingale dog collars, we get the inevitable question: What is a martingale dog collar?
At a first glance they might look like weird tiny harnesses or something fancy and just for show. I mean, why two loops? That's confusing! If the information is not available, browsing a whole wall of dog collar designs can understandably become a lot harder than it might sound. All good collars are made depending on size and specific breed or breed groups. Martingales are no different, and are steadily gaining popularity in the dog world.
Above: DIY Martingale Collar from My So Called Crafty Life
Martingale collars were created as the solution for sighthounds that easily slip out of regular buckle collars. These types of dogs, such as a Greyhound or Whippet, have necks larger than their head, resulting in easy escapes. The signature of a martingale is the two loops, the large loop that goes around the neck, and the smaller, 'control' loop. The leash attaches to the small loop, and when a dog pulls, the smaller loop is pulled taut, and the large loop becomes tighter on the neck. The dog is not choked, but the collar stays fitted around the neck until pressure is released. This comes in handy for fast, thin sighthounds, but is also highly recommended as a training collar. At rest, a martingale fits looser than most other collars, which helps prevent skin irritation. They are also recommended as alternatives to standard choke collars, as the tightening sends a gentler message of correction. The pressure is also evenly distributed around the neck, as opposed to directly on the trachea.
Martingale collars get their name from their similarity to certain horse tacks that are also known as martingales. The design of horse martingales prevents them from raising their head dangerously while being ridden.
Martingale dog collars should not be worn 24 / 7, since there is risk of the second loop getting caught on various objects. Outside the home, martingales are the perfect option for active sighthounds, dogs undergoing obedience training, and dogs that need to avoid pressure in their trachea area for medical reasons.
If interested, check out this DIY Martingale Collar tutorial for a completely unique, hand-made look!
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